by Katharyne Mitchell
As globalisation transforms the organisation of society, so too is its impact felt in the classroom. Katharyne Mitchell argues that schools are spaces in which neoliberal practices are brought to bear on the lives of children. Education’s narratives, actors and institutions play a pivotal role in the social and political formation of youth as workers in a capitalist economy.
Mitchell looks at the formation of student identity and allegiance –as well as spaces of resistance. She investigates the transition to educational narratives emphasising flexibility and strategic global entrepreneurialism and examines the role of education in a broader political project of producing new generations of economically insecure but compliant workers.
Scrutinising the impact of an influx of new actors, practices and policies, Mitchell argues that public education is the latest institution to embrace the neoliberal logic of ‘choice’ – pertaining to schools, faculty, and curricula – that, if unchallenged, will lead to further incursions of the market and increased socioeconomic inequality.